We believe that every school day is critical. In order to set clear expectations for students and signal instruction time is paramount, we expect that all students to be present each and every day of school, beginning the first day of school. Attendance is taken each period of the school day and is recorded for state reporting each day during the second period of the day (near or at 10:00 a.m.). It is critical that students be present because our school funding is based on daily attendance numbers. If an absence is unavoidable, a parent should call the attendance office before 8:20 a.m. on the date of the absence with the reason for the student’s absence. You may email the teachers only to request student make-up work; however, calls regarding the reasons for absences should be made to the attendance office.
Students are required to attend classes for at least 90% of the time that a class is offered. Students who do not meet this requirement are in violation of the state’s attendance policy. Attendance Policy Violations (APV) can be remediated through recovery of instructional time. However, students who persist in violating the state’s attendance policy are considered truant. Students who choose to be truant will face escalating consequences.
Each week, a report of absences will be generated and shared with the school administrators and counselors. The counselors will lead the attendance committees for truant students and their parents in order to monitor credits. Counselors will schedule students for instructional recovery time.
Attendance Policy Violations (APV):
New This Year: The Law Has Changed Per the Attendance Handbook and TEC 25.092:
Absence Make-Up for Attendance Policy Violations (APV):
- In the past, students who needed to make up instructional time due to attendance policy violations (APV), students could attend a general session to earn back instructional time. As a result of current law, time that needs to be made up is now content-specific. For example, if attendance policy violations occur in math, then the make-up time must be done in math.
Absence Make-Up Timeframe for Attendance Policy Violations (APV):
- Instructional time that must be made up due to attendance policy violations must be completed in the same SEMESTER that the attendance policy violations took place.
- Beginning the second day, attendance must be taken by the 15 minute mark of each class period. Also, please edit your attendance as necessary. If a student noted as absent enters class late, change the absence to a tardy.
- Teachers must post attendance in TEAMS for every class period, including Advisory even if it is believed that every student is present.
- When a substitute is in the classroom, the teacher must provide a current printed class list and seating chart. Substitutes will place/tape the attendance paper copy on the classroom door to be picked up by a student aide.
- Please direct students to take all doctors’ notes and other absence notes to the attendance clerk in the attendance office before or after school only.
- No students are allowed to leave the class for any reason during the first 15 minutes or last 15 minutes of class.
- Maintaining excellent student attendance is a major focus for 2019-2020. Students cannot learn if they are not in class.
- Parent contact will be made by the attendance clerks for each student who is approaching a truancy marker or approaching loss of credit. These calls support our attendance efforts; teachers are expected to continue to make regular contact with parents.
- Truancy is defined as: “Students absent 10 or more days or parts of days within a six month period in the same school year or on three or more days or parts of days within a four week period without parental consent…”
- Students lose credit on the 9th absence in the fall semester and on the 11th absence in the spring semester.
- The teacher must record attendance in TEAMS during the first fifteen minutes of class.
- Teachers are to maintain a current hard copy of their class rosters. These rosters are to be updated each time the teacher receives a new student in a class.
All absences will be verified by the school attendance office and if the school has not been notified of the absence, the absence will be recorded as “unverified.” It is important that the parent calls in and speaks directly to the appropriate grade level attendance secretary.
If the parent cannot reach the attendance office, an email message may be sent to the attendance office or a message may be left on the school’s voice mail. However, it is the parent’s responsibility to verify the message was received.
When the student returns to school, the student must provide the attendance office a note signed by a parent explaining the reason for the absence. If a note is not provided within three school days of the student’s return, the absence will be marked “unverified.” In order for an absence to be classified as “excused” a note from the doctor must be provided.
(Example: If a student is absent on Monday and returns to school on Tuesday, then Tuesday would be considered day one; Wednesday, day two; and Thursday, day three.)
If the student does not have a doctor’s note submitted to the attendance office, the student’s absence(s) will be marked as “unexcused.”
For the purpose of state funding, the following situations are excused absences if the required documentation is provided:
Personal Illness: A note signed by the doctor must be given to the main office or attendance clerk when the student returns to school. If the personal illness exceeds three consecutive days, a statement from a physician or health clinic verifying the illness or other condition causing the student’s extended absence from school is required. If a student has excessive absences due to personal illness, the campus administrators, at the campus administrator’s discretion, may require a physician’s or clinic’s statement of illness after a single day’s absence to excuse the absence.
Medical Appointments: An appointment with a healthcare professional is excused if the student provides documentation of the visit signed by the doctor. Parents are encouraged to schedule appointments outside school hours if possible or after the second period when attendance is taken.
Observance of Religious Holidays: Students may be excused for the purpose of observing religious holy days. If it is necessary to travel for the purposes of observing the holiday, only one day of travel to and one day for travel from the site where the student will observe the religious holy day is excused. The campus administrators may require a letter from the religious leader documenting the need for travel or the basis of the religious holiday if the holiday is not an easily recognized or common religious holiday. Travel to attend a baptism or a wedding, for example, is not an excused absence under this category.
Extracurricular Activities: Participation in a school-approved and supervised extracurricular activity is excused.
Attendance at Required Court Appearances: If a student is required to appear at court – including truancy court – the absence may be excused. A copy of the subpoena or court hearing notice should be presented upon return to the school.
Naturalization Ceremonies: Appearance at a governmental office to complete paperwork required in connection with the student’s application for U.S. citizenship or taking part in a U.S. naturalization oath ceremony is excused if documentation of the appearance is provided.
Death or serious illness in immediate family: Attendance at a funeral for an immediate family member (parents, siblings, and grandparents) may be excused for up to three days if travel is required, unless a longer period is approved by the campus administrators. An absence due to the serious illness of immediate family members (as defined above) may be excused for up to three days (including travel). A note from the parent is required upon return.
Military Deployment of Parent: Absence for the purpose of a student visiting with his or her parent prior to the parent’s leave or deployment, not to exceed three days per year, may be excused unless a longer period is approved by the campus administrators. A note from the parent is required upon return.
College Visits: Board Policy (FEA Local) provides that the District shall excuse a student for up to two days during the student’s junior year and up to two days during the student’s senior year to visit an accredited institution of higher education. A student shall be required to submit verification of such visits in accordance with administrative regulations.
Truancy/Non-Compliance with Attendance Laws
A student is required to attend school under the law (TEC §25.085). A student who has unexcused absence(s) is considered truant and will be subject to disciplinary action and/or truancy proceedings. Truancy action may be brought for failure to comply with the compulsory attendance law if a student is absent without excuse on ten or more days or parts of days within a six month period or three or more days or parts of days within a four week period. Please check with Melissa Mijares if you have any questions about these provisions.
Withdrawal from School
A student under the age of 18 may be withdrawn from school only by a parent. The school requests notice from the parent at least three days in advance so that records and documents may be prepared. Parents may be asked to meet with an administrator before proceeding with the withdrawal process. It is important that let the school know the name of the school to which the student is transferring so that records can be sent promptly.
Accurate attendance reporting is required by law. Absences and tardies must be recorded accurately in TEAMS. All tardy students will report to class. In order for a student to receive a consequence for the tardy, it must be recorded in the SIT Server within that school day.
Tardy policy (Tardies reset every grading quarter)
10 = 60 minute detention
15 = 90 minute detention
20 = 120 minute detention
25 = 4 hour detention
30 = 1 day OSS + 4 hour detention
35 = 2 days OSS + 4 hour detention
40 = 3 days OSS + 4 hour detention
All detentions will be served After School.
Tuesday 3:45 – 4:45
Thursday: 3:45 – 7:45 PM (You will be released after serving the time that was assigned to you).
If you fail to report to the hour detention, you will receive a Thursday detention. If you fail to report to the Thursday school, you will receive a day of OSS and will still need to complete at Thursday school.